Let's face it, there are endless terms and unusual words or ingredients that are found in recipes and reviews- we've started a glossary where they're all explained.

A

Aerate 
To incorporate air into a mixture to make ingredients lighter and create texture

Agar-agar
A vegetarian alternative to gelatin
Handy Hint – use this if you’re making a jam/jelly containing pineapple, kiwi fruit or papaya, as the acids in these fruits break down the protein found in gelatin, preventing the jelly from setting

Aging [dry-aging]
All fresh beef is aged for at least few days and can be aged up to several weeks. The process allows the enzymes naturally present in the meat to break down the muscle tissue, resulting in improved texture and flavor.

Al dente
An Italian term – food that is cooked until it is ‘firm to the bite’ – most commonly used when describing pasta

Aromatics
This is a combination of vegetables and herbs (and sometimes even meats such as lardons) cooked down at the beginning of a dish. The heated fat used to cook the aromatics in such as butter or oil helps these ingredients release fragrant aromas and impart deep flavors into the completed dish

Aspic
A savoury dish where ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé. This dish dates back centuries but made a huge come back in the 70’s thanks to Fanny Cradock

 

B

Ban Marie 
When a bowl is placed over a pot of simmering water. Used to melt chocolate or butter

Baste
To spoon juices/marinades over food that is being roasted or baked to prevent it from drying out and to glaze the surface – commonly meat, or baked fruit

Bavette
Also known as flank steak- this is a relatively long and flat cut of beef from the underside of the animal.
Handy hint – as this comes from a srong, well-exercised part of the cow, slice the meat against the grain to maximise tenderness

Blanch
To quickly plunge food  into boiling water before being removed and place into ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Most commonly used with vegetables to help loosen the skin or to par-cook before freezing

Bouquet Garni
Herbs, usually parley, thyme and bay leaf tied together or within a small muslin bag. This is added to stocks, soups, stews and sauces for flavour and removed before serving

Broil
To cook food at a measured distance below a grill

Braise
To slowly cook food sat in a shallow liquid in a tightly sealed pot on the stove top or in the oven. This is a perfect method from cheaper cuts of meat

Butterfly
To split food, especially meats, through the middle without completely separating the halves. Opened flat, the split halves resemble a butterfly. The perfect way to cook chicken on the BBQ

 

C

Caramalise
To heat sugar in order to turn it brown and give it a special taste

Chiffonade 
Fine ribbons of leafy vegetables or herbs. These are created by tightly rolling the leaves into bundles and finely chopping

Chitterlings 
A dish made from the small intestine of the pig and sometimes cow

Clarify
The process of removing impurities from a liquid such as melted butter, meat stock, or vegetable stock. This is usually accomplished by skimming the surface of the liquid as it is heated however, with butter you would keep the surface liquid

Core temperature
The temperature at the centre of an item – used to asses how well done meat is

Coulis
A sauce made from the strained purée of fruit or vegetables

Cream
To soften a fat, usually butter, by beating it at room temperature. Butter and sugar are often blended together in this way to a smooth light coloured mixture for cake mixes

Cure
To preserve meats by drying and salting and/or smoking

 

D

Deglaze
Adding water to a pan in which meats have been sautéed or roasted to dissolve the crusted juice. Usually the first step in creating a gravy or jus

Drippings
The fat/juices from roasting meats used as a cooking fat for other items such as potatoes

 

E

Egg Wash
Used for glazing pastry or bread to give it a shine when baked this consists of a beaten raw egg, sometimes mixed with milk or water and a little salt, This is particularly useful for blind baking as it seals the pastry base, ensuring it won’t absorb moisture (no none likes a soggy bottom), and also gives the pastry a good golden colour

Emulsify
To bind together two liquid ingredients that do not normally combine smoothly, such as water and fat. Slowly add one ingredient to the other while mixing rapidly. Use a good whisk for a steady even emulsification

Escalope
An escalope is a piece of boneless meat that has been thinned out using a mallet, rolling pin or beaten with the handle of a knife, or merely buttflied.

Entrecote
In French, the word entrecote denotes a premium cut of beef used for steaks.

 

F

Filo Pastry
Paper thin sheets of pastry commonly used in Greek, Eastern European and Middle Eastern cuisines. Filo is brushed with oil or butter and layered

Flambé
To soak an ingredient in alcohol and set alight quickly – this process burns away the alcohol but leaves all the flavour

Fricassee
A dish of stewed or fried pieces of meat served in a thick white sauce.

Filet mignon
Filet mignon is a steak cut of beef taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin.

Frenched
To scrape meat and fat from bones of meat, generally associated with lamb chops or veal rib chops. Cover the bone in foil while cooking the meat to ensure the best-looking presentation

 

G

Garnish
To decorate a dish with items such as herbs to improve its look

Granita
A semi frozen dessert made by scraping a freezing mixture to create a crystalline structure that is light and airy. A Create favourite

Giblets
The edible internal organs of poultry, including the liver, heart, and gizzard. Giblets are sometimes used to make gravy and we’d recommend stuffing the cavity with them when roasting for extra flavour!

Glaze
A thin, glossy coating added during cooking. Savory glazes are made with reduced sauces or gelatin; sweet glazes can be made with melted jams or chocolate.

Gelatin
Gelatin is a translucent, colourless, brittle, flavourless food derived from collagen obtained from various raw animals.

 

H

Hard Sauce 
A dessert sauce made of butter, lemon extract, sugar, and vanilla

 

I

Infuse
To steep an aromatic ingredient in hot liquid until the flavour has been extracted and absorbed by the liquid. Milk and cream are often infused with flavour before being used in custards or sauces

 

J

Julienne
To cut into long, thin and perfectly even strips of vegetables.

Jerk
Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice.

Jugging
Jugging is the process of stewing whole animals, mainly game or fish, for an extended period in a tightly covered container such as a casserole or an earthenware jug.

 

K

Knead
To mix and work dough into a smooth, elastic mass. Kneading causes the gluten strands within the flour to stretch and expand, enabling dough to hold in gas bubbles formed by yeast; this allows it to rise

Kosher salt
A coarse salt with no additives that many cooks(particularly in America) prefer for its light, flaky texture and clean taste. In addition to this it has a lower sodium content than regular salt

Kofta
Kofta is a family of meatball or meatloaf dishes found in South Asian, Middle Eastern, Balkan, and Central Asian cuisine.

Kobe Beef
Kobe beef refers to beef from the Tajima strain of Wagyu cattle, raised in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture according to rules as set out by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association.

 

L

Line
To cover the bottom and sides of a pan, mould or terrine with a thin layer of bacon, butter, flavourings or pastry. In baking, a tin frequently lined with parchment paper to prevent the cake from sticking to the edges

Leavenings
These ingredients, such as yeast, baking powder, and baking soda are essential in helping batter and dough expand or rise during baking. Without them items the final product will be heavy and tough

 

M

Marinade
To soak food in a seasoned liquid mixture for a certain length of time. The purpose of marinating is to add flavour and/or tenderise the food. When fruits are soaked in this same manner, the process is called macerating

A la Meunière
To coat an items (usually fish) in flour and then cook in brown butter, chopped parsley, and lemon

 

N

Nap
To completely coat food with a light, thin, even layer of sauce

 

O

On The Half Shell
The presentation of oysters, scallops, etc. whereby they are served on the bottom shell only, usually on the bed of either crushed ice or rock salt

 

P

Papillote
This is a great way to cook fish, so that all the juices are retained inside the parcel. Use cooking or baking paper for this – not greaseproof

Parboil
To boil a food, such as vegetables, until it is partially cooked – often before roasting the item or in preparation for another cooking activity

Pare
To cut off the skin or outer covering of a fruit or vegetable, using a small knife or a vegetable peeler (frequently done after blanching)

Pectin
A natural substance found in some fruits is an important ingredient in making jams and jellies

Pipe
To force a soft mixture, such as whipped cream, icing or meringue mixture, through a pastry bag to decorate or shape food

Proofing
A term used by bakers, is the final rise of shaped bread dough before baking

 

Q

Quench
To quickly place a heated object in cold water.  This is usually done to either stop the cooking process or to separate the skin of an object from the meat. This process is sometimes referred to as “shocking.”

 

R

Reduce
To decrease the volume of a liquid by boiling it rapidly thickening it and intensifying in flavor. The resulting richly flavoured liquid, called a reduction, can be used as a sauce or as the base of a sauce.
Handy Hint – When reducing liquids, use the pan size specified in the recipe, as the surface area of the pan affects how quickly the liquid will evaporate.

Render
To cook the grease out of animal fat

Ribbon Stage
A term used in baking to describe the consistency of a cake mixture or whipped cream. Lift to which from the mixutre and make a figure of eight shape over the bowl. If the trail of batter/cream is visible in the mixture then you are at the ribbon stage.

Roux
A french term for a mixture of equal parts melted butter and flour that is cooked in a pan – this is the basis for many classic sauces such as a béchamel

 

 

S

Sous Vide
The French term for a process of cooking where ingredients are sealed in airtight plastic bags placed in a water bath. With sous vide the temperature is usually much lower than standard cooking heats but the ingredients will remain in the water bath for hours creating a perfect and evenly cooked dish.

Sweat
To cook vegetables, particularly onions, until the juices just run and the vegetable softens without colouring.

 

T

Temper
The process of adding hot liquid to a cold or room temperature ingredient slowly and gradually, so the cooler ingredient (e.g. eggs) doesn’t cook or set. The resulting tempered mixture can be added back into the hot liquid for further processes

Truss
To secure poultry with string or skewers, to hold its shape while cooking.

 

U

Unleavened
Describes any baked good that has no leavener, such as yeast, baking powder or baking soda

 

V

Vanner
A French term meaning to stir or whisk a mixture until it has cooled

 

W

Whip
To beat rapidly to increase volume and incorporate air

 

X

XXX, XXXX, 10X
An indicator of confectioners’ sugar relating to the number of times it has been ground. The higher the number of X’s the finer the grind

 

Y

Yakitori
A Japanese term meaning “grilled”

 

Z

Zahtar
Popular spice blend in Turkey and other areas. This blend is composed of sesame seeds, powdered sumac and dried thyme.

 

Hopefully this cooking glossary will make following recipes a little easier! Let us know if we have missed any @createfood
Create Cooking Glossary